Sometimes it helps to close your eyes, sometimes it helps to keep them focused on a blank space on a wall or a picture you like. Do what you need to do. But I want you to imagine a dot. Let that dot be any color you (or it) want that dot to be. Keep that dot in the center of your eye/mind and start to work on your breathing. Start by just breathing in and out regularly. Feel the air enter on the breath in, then feel it pass on the way out. Repeat but with each passing breath, let the air flow a little deeper. With each breath, keep your eye on that dot. Try to make more and more space in your mind for the air and the dot. Focus. Repeat this for a while.
After you’ve taken some time with your breathing and Dot, assess your situation as always but let’s add some additional areas to consider.
Do you hurt physically? Where is your body in this moment? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
Do you hurt mentally? What is on your mind? How are your thoughts organized? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
Do you hurt spiritually? How are you taking care of your spirit? What is on your soul? Can you address your pain? What can be done immediately? Short-term? Long-term?
Have you slept recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in our dreams and rest. Rest if you can.
Have you eaten recently? If not, sometimes answers can be found in the solace of a nourished belly. Eat well, sitting down and focused on your food, if you can.
Have you had a glass of water? If not, sometimes answers can be found in this basic liquid. Drink a decent amount of water (I’d go with a pint this week, if you can handle it) and feel the feeling of it going down. This one is a little non-negotiable.
Now, check in again. How are you? Do you have access to a range of emotions? Are you feeling them? Do you need more assistance than what this list can provide? If so, take a minute to think about where that assistance is located. If you can’t find anyone close to you, feel free to FB message me. From there you can call me. I’ll listen to you.
So here we are.
I find myself more ready than I was these days. Whatever stuff I pack that is electronic or electrical has a backup battery now. I’m researching ruggedized equipment after being in Korea. I carry my iPad Pro (thanks Pop!) because it can use a cell signal or wifi. More and more, I’m using VPN and encrypted everything to communicate. I’ve got go bags and canned food on my mind for the storage area in my house as of late.
I’m getting ready, I think. A lot of us are preparing even though we don’t know what we are preparing for.
We’re just preparing.
In this time of heightened everything, I offer no judgements or complaints or “wait, but…” or “but we should also…” or anything other than love and a listening ear. Like my man Peter Hardie has often modeled for me, I listen to the wind and to my folks. Do what you need to do but keep your mind on freedom. We’re all in this shit together, even thousands of miles away.
I will say that I see a lot of fucking sick and walking wounded out there, so I’m talking to you folks today. I admire your hustle and spirit. You’re beautiful and wild and I love you like fresh spoonbread. I mean it.
My checklist remains up top, because having a sound mind and body on the basic level is helpful. Once again, I’m including the resource that inspired it.
If you’re tired, please go home and rest. This especially goes for those of you who aren’t sleeping because of nightmares, workload, or anything else. Remember that if you’re going on less than 4 hours sleep you’re basically drunk. Would you run a meeting drunk? Would you drive a car drunk?
If you are sick with the crud of the week, please go home and rest. Infecting the rest of us with whatever you have is that bullshit. Please don’t do that to us. We love you.
If you are depressed or suffering from any other mental health malady, listen to your body (includes your brain, remember?) A lot of us have that problem AND a long-term and/or chronic illness, so don’t think for a moment that you can just ignore all that synapse signaling and think you can drink water through it alone. Don’t panic and forget you have friends and family to turn to. Let them in and BE HONEST about what you need. We’re here to help you.